Peace Within Amid Chaos Without

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:27)
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Stillness. A slight mist in the air,
Low fog suspended over the pond.
A bird dropped by and then another.
Perched on top of the deck rail,
Chirping toward the rising sun,
Their song in perfect harmony.

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As fog lifted and mist departed,
 PEACE entered my soul.
 A gift. A moment from God.
Did I say, “Thank you, Lord?”
The moments are many and daily if our eyes see, our ears hear, and our minds open to the unfolding gifts from our God.
PEACE may not be a word we think of much in today’s societal and pandemic chaos. It seems elusive and difficult to find. Yet, here it was in the early morning dawn. So simple. Yet, so magnificent.
“THANK YOU, LORD.”

(Sharon G. Tate blog 08/02/2020) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word

TO KNOW GOD IS TO LOVE: BEING A CARE GIVER TO OTHERS

 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love.

Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. (I John 4:16)

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A wave of the hand over the sensor. I remember. The door opens to the cancer floor. I did not expect to be here again. The last times . . . Dad getting chemo, blood transfusions, platelet transfusions, the final doctor visit before hospice. Wheeling him in, wheeling him out. He waved his hand over the sensor to open the door to leave that floor-forever. . .

God blesses us with moments and memories. Some are beautiful– even through the storms. They can be times of togetherness, unity of heart, strength of purpose. A time of special love flowing through tears, hand holds, hugs, a kiss on the forehead– unspoken love clearly spoken.

We love because He first loved us. (I John 4:19)

 Maybe the world has forgotten this love. Isolation can make us more selfish and me-centered. That self-focus will make its way outwardly through our actions and words. We may show less kindness around others, feel little unity with others, and struggle with purpose toward others.

We should be each other’s care giver.

 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?”

 He said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?” (Genesis 4:9)

 YES! We are and must be. “There are no random acts. . .We are all connected. . . You can no more separate one life from another than you can separate a breeze from the wind .1

 The world needs a LOVE transfusion.

 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. (John 15:12)

 A daughter is called to be her father’s caregiver.

A son is called to be his mother’s caregiver.

Duty. Commitment. Love.

 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. (I Corinthians 13:4-5)

 Do everything in love. (I Corinthians 16:14)

 Strangers are just family you have yet to come to know.” 2

 We must be each other’s care giver.

Duty. Commitment. Love.

 TO KNOW GOD IS TO LOVE.

1 Albom, Mitch. The Five People You Meet in Heaven. goodreads.com

2 Albom, Mitch. The Five People You Meet in Heaven. goodreads.com

(Sharon G. Tate blog 07/19/2020) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

REFLECTION ON GOD’S ENDURING LOVE

 

For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
(1 Corinthians 13:12)   

Remembering the innocent child whom we must become again to enter heaven;

Embracing the warmth of family love and protection in our youth;

Facing the reality that evil exists– shaking our belief in innocence and protection;

Leaning on the Lord when doubting the direction for our future;

Emerging as the children of God through faith, obedience, and baptism;

Changing our lives as new Christians to follow in the path of Christ;

Transitioning to an outward focus on others;

Investing in quiet time with the Lord in prayer;

Owning the legacy of suffering as a Christian in this world;

Needing to hold onto faith until the last age when the child in us returns home.

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Remembering the past, reflecting on the present,

embracing the future–which God holds.

And now abide faith, hope, love, these three;

but the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:13)

Faith: Isaiah 41:10 “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will uphold you. . .”

Hope: 2 Corinthians 4:16 “Therefore we do not lose heart.  Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.

Love: Matthew 28:20 “. . . and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

God is with us always:

at birth—through life—in death—

in heaven . . . waiting–for us to come home.

(Sharon G. Tate blog 07/12/2020 ) teacherforjesus.com    Meditations on God’s Word

LISTEN TO HIS VOICE

 10 ” I AM the Lord your God,
    who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.
    Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.

11 “But My people did not listen to My voice;
    Israel would have none of Me.
12 So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts,
    to follow their own counsels.
13 O that My people would listen to Me,
    that Israel would walk in My ways!
14 I would soon subdue their enemies,
    and turn My hand against their foes.
15 Those who hate the Lord would cringe toward Him,
    and their fate would last forever.
16 I would feed you with the finest of the wheat,
    and with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.”

                             (Psalm 81: 10-16)

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A different people, a time long past.

A relevant message, the time today.

The same God, then-now-forever.

Listen and Silent. The letters are the same to form both words: Harmony.

Noise and Clamor. The letters are not the same to form both words: Discord.

 Have we heard His Voice? Can we listen and be silent to hear Him, amid the noise and clamor of our time today?

How richly He would bless us if we had all of Him in our hearts,removing our stubborn selves to allow Him to fill us.

 In our time of noise and clamor, He is still the Lord our God. He will fill us fully with Him if we but “open our mouth wide.” What comes out of our mouth, then, will be His Voice, His Words. The world in our time needs us, His adopted sons and daughters, to speak and proclaim His Truth, not in noise and clamor above the world’s but in listening silence to know how to speak before those who have not really heard God’s Voice and allowed Him entrance into their hearts.

Our time is a decisive one for Christians to take a stand and speak God’s truth. In harmony, not discord, showing His truth in our words, our actions, and our lives, we can make a difference. And we must make a difference, for the “Israel” of our time does not “walk in {His} ways.” That difference will be beyond us for our children and their children.

Listen and be silent. Hear His Voice. Ask Him to help us know how to be the difference of change to reach stubborn hearts and unknowing hearts as we, also, pray for our own hearts to be right with Him.

(Sharon G. Tate 07/05/2020 blog) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

In Times of Temptation and Weakness: Hearing His Word in My Heart

 

The weakest moments. The voice whispering,

“Go ahead. It’s okay. Just this once won’t hurt. Try it.”

How will we respond to the prompting, the teasing, the tempting, the urging and still hold true to faith—unless we have the Word readily before us as our reaction, our response, and our action.

The Savior understands our weakest moments.

14Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet He did not sin.  (Hebrews 4:14-15)

When tested,

Be ready

To answer

With the Word.   

” For the word of God is alive and active.” (Hebrews 4:12)

“May I hide Your Word in my heart so that I might not sin against You. Amen.”

(Sharon G. Tate blog 06/28/2020) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

GOD’S INTIMACY WITH HIS CREATION– Are we personal and intimate with Him?

All things were made through Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made. (John 1:3)

God’s creation fully exemplifies a diversity of personal color, size, shape, detail, function, purpose. Even identical twins are noted to have different fingerprints. 1 Each creation unique and individual. The Artist God, the Designer God, the Creator God– intimate with His creation.

13 For Thou didst form my inward parts,
Thou didst knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise Thee, for Thou art fearful and wonderful.[
a]
Wonderful are Thy works!
Thou knowest me right well;
15     my frame was not hidden from Thee,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately wrought in the depths of the earth.
16 Thy eyes beheld my unformed substance;
in Thy book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.

(Psalm 139:13-16)

29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.  (Matthew 10: 29-31)

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God knows us intimately and personally. The question we must ask ourselves, “Are we personal and intimate with Him?” Is He the One we turn to first when we are confronting day-to-day problems, facing major crises, seeking answers, fighting fear and anxiety, wanting comfort, hoping for hope?

The change in the world now and in the future, if God allows it, occurs first within me and you through intimacy with Him. The ripple outward to others happens when we become more like Him.

In an impersonal world of more online contact and less one-on-one interaction in person, such distancing has allowed us to create a masked version of ourselves. Through email, text, Facebook clicks/comments, we do not have eye contact, and tone of voice with inflections of meaning heard in speech are missing. We can use filters to enhance our selfie pictures. Even on a visual chat, there is a distance and the opportunity to mask. This impersonal medium allows us to present just what we want others to see.

With God, there is no mask. He is I AM from the beginning through eternity.

What about us? We may present ourselves masked before the world, at church services, to our neighbors, in the workplace, even with friends and at home—but we cannot wear the mask before God. He knows us, the real you and me.

The change in the world must start by each one of us removing the mask before others and engaging more one-on-one, in-person, allowing Christ to be seen. Jesus, in one-on-one connections with individuals, unmasked the woman at the well and the rich, young ruler—to help them really see themselves and change. The Samaritan woman seemed to believe He was the Messiah and went back to her village to share this revelation, thus impacting others to seek Him; there was a change in her. The rich, young ruler, however, was saddened when he heard what Jesus asked of him. There is no indication of a change in him that would lead to sharing the Lord with others.

Are we, like that young man, saddened by what Jesus asks of us to the point that we do not make changes within that will show outwardly to others the nature of Christ? Intimacy with the Lord our God is crucial to change within and visibility without. We must be intimate and personal, one-on-one, with Jesus every day.

Seek the Lord and His strength, seek His presence continually! (I Chronicles 16:11)

¹sciencefocus.com

(Sharon G. Tate blog 06/14/2020) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

What can I do when I am only one? I can be the ONE.

 4 And Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I perceive that God shows no partiality, 35 but in every nation any one who fears Him and does what is right is acceptable to Him.” 

(Acts 10:34-35)

 And Peter shared the Word, the Living Word of Jesus to the Gentiles.  God wants every ONE to know and be saved.

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way. This is good, and it is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, Who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony to which was borne at the proper time. (I Timothy 2:1-6)

ONE” is a key word throughout scripture: ONE God. ONE Mediator. ONE Savior. The ONE lost sheep. The ONE prodigal son coming home. “Any ONE who fears Him and does what is right is acceptable.”

For each ONE, there is only ONE way, ONE truth, ONE light, ONE hope, ONE salvation.

Have we, like God and Jesus, focused on the ONE–or the many? Is it not the ONE with whom we can make the most difference? Is it not the ONE act of kindness that can start the change rippling outward?

We each have the ability to affect those around us, within our sphere of influence, ONE at a time. This effect can extend beyond us to others’ areas of influence and beyond them to where God’s direction leads.

What can I do when I am only one? I can be the ONE.

       Unlike God, mankind, in general, tends to be partial. We look differently–                                                                at difference.

While working for 25 years with at-risk and special education students, I was in the special ed. “sped hall.” Some students, and even a few staff, would tend to avoid this hall. Other students who entered the hall did so with the intent to show disrespect, condescension, and maybe ridicule. Different can mean unacceptable, not the same worth, less than, maybe even something to fear. It is a perspective applied to skin color, race, sex, age, ability, body shape, and on and on.

God looks the same at difference because He sees the ONE. And that ONE is His–

a precious lost sheep, a son coming home,

a daughter-though a Samaritan,

a soul to be saved-though a thief on the cross,

you and me-yet sinners.

Can we see the ONE and not the many others we could associate with that ONE over time, history, events, perspective, opinion, inference?

ONE can effect change and bring souls to God.

CAN WE BE THE ONE to see the ONE.

(Sharon G. Tate 06/07/2020 blog)  teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP: A GIFT BESTOWED BY GOD

God is faithful, Who has called you into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

(I Corinthians 1:9)

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I had the blessing of spending time with my grandchildren online in a Zoom call on Mother’s Day. My granddaughter kind of took over the call closer to the end as she was trying to, rather slowly with one hand, the other arm/wrist/thumb in a cast, type out her birthday list to me. My grandson, age five, was walking back and forth waiting for his turn. Quite unhappy with his big sister, he expressed his impatience with a lament,

 “I’m missing my time with Grandma!”

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Have we not longed to be back together in fellowship as one with the Lord and with one another?

Have we not missed our time with some impatience and lamenting in waiting?

Stay-at-home directives to help control a virus have separated us in many ways.

God knew we would need the presence of fellowship with our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Fellowship in the Lord is a special gift only Christians can fully unwrap, open to the Light, and experience. God has given us a church family—brothers and sisters who share a common bond, a common love, a common faith, a common hope in Christ. Through Christian fellowship, we are each other’s mutual support and companions through the challenges, tests, struggles, suffering, and hardships in this life. We are each other’s faithful friends, sharing in the joys, special moments, and laugh-out-loud times. Our solidarity is secured in our united efforts as comrades in the cause of Christ, showing His love through our lives and through our fellowship with one another.

Fellowship with our brothers and sisters in the Lord cannot exist without the presence of CHRIST Himself. When we pray, when we break bread, when we sing, when we worship, HE is with us. When we share a meal and thank Him for it, HE is seated at the table. As we clean the building in the spring, HE is there in our midst. When we sing carols to the elderly in a nursing home or assisted living, JESUS is harmonizing with us.

Fellowship in Christ is fellowship with Christ.

That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship [is] with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.

(1 John 1:3)

This gift of Christian fellowship, bestowed by God, is a blessing in this life but an even greater joy in eternity. Our friendship, our companionship, and our togetherness will continue forever.  Human fellowship cannot last, but fellowship in Christ endures and grows stronger.

Can we envision what Christian fellowship in heaven will be like?

Will we strive to have the kind of Christian fellowship on this earth  that prepares us for that Day?

24And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.  (Hebrews 10:24-25)

As we come together once again, let us pray with purpose and faith that we may use this God-gift of Christian fellowship to help and encourage each other in our walk with Him, as we work together in solidarity to bring souls to His salvation-and to this special fellowship of His followers.

(Sharon G. Tate 05/31/2020 blog) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

Mary and her Son: Keeping These Things and Pondering Them in our Hearts

26 When Jesus saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing near, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” 27 Then He said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.

(John 19:26-27)

On the cross, while enduring the most extreme agony of suffering for our sins and abandonment by His Father, Jesus looked down and saw His mother. He knew she would need to be cared for, and John, His trusted disciple “whom He loved” was near. Jesus made it clear in the wording He used that Mary was to view John as her son and John was to be that son to Mary.  John accepted this great responsibility and took Mary home with him.

In providing for His mother, Our Lord demonstrated His love for this woman who bore Him. Mary was told by the angel that she, a virgin, would bear a child who would be “the Son of God.” (Luke 1:35)  She didn’t understand but humbly accepted this responsibility by verbally stating: “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled” (Luke 1:38).   When the shepherds came to Bethlehem to find the child, Christ the Lord, in the manger, Luke recorded Mary’s unspoken thoughts and feelings about this birth: “… His mother kept all these things in her heart” (Luke 2:17-19) When Jesus was twelve and told his parents, who were looking for Him, that He was about His Father’s business in the temple, they did not understand. Luke, once again, recorded her unspoken thoughts and feelings: “But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:48-51). 

We can only imagine what Mary really pondered all those years. “Mary, did you know?” are the lyrics written by Mark Lowry to a well-known Christmas song. Mary had been “pondering” all these years, and she seemed to know that Jesus had the power to perform a miracle at Cana and provide more wine for the wedding occasion. : When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to Him, ‘They have no wine.’ And Jesus said to her, ‘O woman, what have you to do with me? My hour has not yet come.’  5His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever He tells you’ (John 2:1-5). And He, then, turned water into wine, performing His first recorded miracle. “This, the first of His signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him” (John 2:11). His mother had already believed in Him.

Mary was with Jesus, her son, throughout his life, and she was at the foot of the cross when He was sacrificing Himself for all mankind. She was a mother who loved her son and gave Him up for us.  “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” (Luke 1:38) Her words could be heard, not only at the beginning, but also at the end of her son’s life on this earth.

Mother has the word “other” in it. A mother has a special bond with her child from conception until she dies. She looks outside herself to her child and gives to that child first above her own self. The “M” in a loving mother is never the completed word “me” for it defers, instead, to the full word “other.” Her “other” is the child she bears, the child who grows inside her, the child who continues to grow outside her body but never outside her heart.  Mary was this mother.

To those of us who are mothers or future mothers, let us strive to be the woman and mother Mary was: “The angel went to her and said, ‘Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you’ ” (Luke 1:28).

Let us all be as caring toward our parents as Jesus was to His mother. In spite of all that He was going through on the cross, He remembered her and provided for her.

Our mother is our deliverer into this life. Jesus is our Deliverer through this life.

May we keep all these things and ponder them in our hearts.

(Sharon G. Tate blog 05/10/20) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word

MAYDAY! MAYDAY!——BE STILL.

God know that I AM Be still

MAYDAY!  MAYDAY!

Distress Signal Sent

WHO WILL HEAR?

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We are currently living in a time of stress and distress. MAYDAY for a vaccine to control a deadly virus. MAYDAY for a treatment to use until a vaccine is safely tested. MAYDAY for all those who are not working and need financial assistance. MAYDAY for the business owners who need a loan to keep their business afloat. MAYDAY for all those “essentials” working away from home, possibly at risk of contracting the virus and infecting loved ones. MAYDAY for those who have lost family and friends to this virus and cannot be with them in their final moments. MAYDAY for all the children sheltered-in-place away from school and social relationships. MAYDAY as the mental and emotional toll escalates.

WHO WILL HEAR?

Only One can calm that distress within and respond to our MAYDAY.

Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud,
be gracious to me and answer me!
(Psalm 27:7)

Are we trusting in God to help us through these times of stress, loss, fear, turmoil, loneliness, isolation?

God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
(Psalm 46:1
)

28 Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary,
    His understanding is unsearchable.
29 He gives power to the faint,
    and to Him who has no might He increases strength.
30 Even youths shall faint and be weary,
    and young men shall fall exhausted;
31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,
    they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
    they shall walk and not faint.
 (Isaiah 40:28-31)

 Our cries of distress are heard by God. He is ever-present with us. We must be present with Him in our prayers–talking with Him, communicating our needs, seeking His help and strength, reaching out for His comfort and His peace.

 20 Our soul waits for the Lord;
    He is our help and shield.

21 Yea, our heart is glad in Him,
    because we trust in His holy name.
22 Let thy steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us,
    even as we hope in Thee.
(Psalm 30:20-25)

AMEN.

(Sharon G. Tate blog May 1st 2020) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word